Sunday, July 31, 2011

Painting- the spirit of drawing workshop at Sitka

SITKA ART AND ECOLOGY CENTER north of Lincoln City on the Oregon coast sits in a beautiful setting between the Salmon River estuary and Cascade Head. I was fortunate to have a four day painting workshop with Bill Parks there last week.

BILL PARKS shared his painting techniques and demonstrated how drawing becomes painting. He works in many layers of paint, repaints and paints again adjusting color values and contrasts. I really appreciate how his work with monotypes influences his paintings- the depth of line and value in black and white, ways to soften or distress edges and the effect of wiping away paint. He firmly believes that it's the process that makes painting interesting not the final product.

We worked in Boyden studio. The first day we drew with charcoal and added white acrylic to explore values in black and white.

Then, we added color. The above piece transformed from a fern painting in black and white into a cornstalk. I love the variation and gradation of the background colors.

One afternoon after class, we climbed Cascade Head. The view of the Salmon River estuary on the left and the coastline is spectacular. This is one of my favorite coastal hikes.

Here's an abstract painting that needs more work.

These trees developed after painting over an abstract painting created the previous day- wiping paint away, adding contrasting colors.

I chose to work with drawings of fox glove. It was in full bloom. Both of these paintings have layers and layers of acrylic paint on them. I'm still working on them to get more gradation in color values and variety of textures.

Of the two paintings, I like this one the best. It still needs some work but it's getting there. One thing I learned is not to stop, keep painting and working with a subject. That's when it's spirit is captured.
I highly recommend the Sitka Art Center workshops. The staff is friendly and helpful and a variety of workshops from experienced artists are offered. Check out the Sitka workshop Dayna Collins attended with Lori Latham last week HERE .

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sail the Seven Seas Book Constructed of Wood

A couple weeks ago, I took a class at the Focus on Book Arts Conference from Susan Collard, an architect and book artist. She makes one of a kind books out of wood. I first saw her books at the 23 Sandy Gallery. The construction and creativity in her books really caught my eye.

Over two days, we sawed, drilled, and glued wood to build our books. Check out an overview of our workshop HERE and HERE on Elissa Campbell's blog- Blue Roof Designs.

We completed the basic construction of our books in the workshop. I just finished mine yesterday. This photo is of the book cover and text block. The back spine and inside covers are made of painted tyvek. I used my Dremel tool to carve the book title, Sail the Seven Seas on the painted covers. I learned how to use my Dremel and all of its attachments in Jill Timm's workshop at the book conference.

Here is the book with the text block open.

On the first page, I used a wood burner to draw the schooner.

The next pages include a map on one side and a shadow box with the ship's wheel, porthole and binnacle drawing.

The next pages snap together with a built in magnet with portholes and a drop down compartment.

Here the drop down mirror is open. I want to find something to put inside this compartment.

The last page has another map. This book was simple to make with my new woodshop skills. It gave me a whole new appreciation for how much work Susan puts into her art books.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Altered Book Kit Giveaway

Go HERE and leave a comment to win Judi Stack's Portland Art Collective giveaway for July. Good luck!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seattle International District Photo Crawl

This weekend, we had a Seattle photo crawl in the International District. Last year for our first photo crawl, we went to Pike Street Market. You can read about it HERE.

GWEN organizes our experience and makes little journals for us to use with our photos. We bring our cameras, Pogo printers and journaling supplies for a fun, creative day. JAN and I came up from Portland. DAWN, Lynne and LOUIE joined us.

Dragon Fest activities filled the streets with lots of vendors, food booths and people.

We spent three hours exploring the International District with our cameras- Chinatown and Historic Japantown or Nihonmachi.

We walked up the hill to see Kobe Park and the community gardens. We met at the Panama Hotel Coffee and Tea Room for lunch. We had a big table to print our photos and work in our journals.

My back journal cover has a Maneki Neko or Japanese good luck cat with "good luck" in Kanji stamped on page.
For a fun activity, organize a photo crawl in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Garden Warmth

We sketched today in Cynthia's garden- sun, flowers, friends. Summer is here. Like Leigh from Curly Girl Designs says, "There is no better way to spend the Day than in good company." I had to add her napkin quotes to my journal page. "To slow down and take a little leisure is the happiest method of living." Sweet peas and roses are two of my favorite summer flowers.

It feels good to be outdoors, hear the birds sing, sip a cup of tea and relax with friends. Hope that you're enjoying your summer, too.